Felt, fibre and other art related highlights from the last few days!

I’ve spent an action packed, satisfying but tiring long weekend in Dublin and am going to jot down some of the highlights here for you to peruse.

Things kicked off on Thursday morning when I delivered a workshop titled ‘Using Social Media to Promote/Sell your Craft’ as part of the Crafts Council‘s ‘Craft Enterprize Programme’.  I met a great group of dedicated crafts people and hopefully they had as much fun as I did and learnt something new to help their business from what we were discussing!  The venue for this workshop was in the Dodder Rooms at the RDS and convieniently the Knitting and Stitching Show 2011 was also held at the RDS, this time across the road in the Simonscourt Arena.

'Scavangers' by Caroline Schofield

As well as old favourites like The Yarn Room, Art Van Go, and Jean Oliver’s stand with beautiful hand dyed raw materials, stands, exhibitions and events from the show that I really enjoyed included …….

  • Feltmakers Ireland – it’s always wonderful to see the expression on faces as people discover the magic of wet felting for the first time!
  • Seascapes – an excellent curated textile exhibition put on by the Crafts Council.  I thought that Caroline Schofield’s ‘Scavangers’ were particularly stunning, 5 swooping sea gulls which projected amazing shadows onto the walls!
  • Kate Ramsey’s stand with her beautifully felted wearables
  • Chatting to felting friend Lizzie Houghton, author of Creative Felting and ‘Felting Fashion’
  • The Toft Alpaca Shop
  • Mary Sleigh’s wonderful exhibition of Africian textiles
  • Facilitating the Friday session at ‘The Learning Curve’.  Thanks ladies, I really enjoyed your company and hope you love your new felt brooches!

Learning Curve at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2011

On Thursday evening Alan and I walked to the opening of our friend Anthony Lyttle’s exhibition ‘The white mark’ which is running in the Cross Gallery until 3rd December.  This gallery is at 59 Francis Street, easy to walk to from the city centre and Anthony’s beautiful exhibition is well worth a visit if you are in the area!

On Friday evening we both walked into town again and had a brilliant time at the launch of ‘Profiles in Felt, a Feltmakers Ireland book published after a LOT of hard work and with help and support from the Crafts Council.  Congratulations to the team involved in making this book happen, the result is truly wonderful and Sonya Lennon was an inspired choice to speak at the opening!  Champagne and cake helped with the bubbly atmosphere and it was such fun to meet with many of the 44 felters profiled in the book!!!

Whew, I’m just about out of time again so suffice to say the weekend progressed!  On Sunday I helped good friend Eileen MacDonagh by starting to cover one of her current amazing sculptures with papier machier (more in another post, 15 HUGE trees!) and last night we went to a screening of ‘The Way‘ at Visual, a great night.

Coming in a post soon for those who have asked, a quick little glimpse (thanks Holly!) about how the brooches were felted during the learning curve experience!

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Felt, fibres and findings

Yesterday I had a great day at the Knitting and Stitching Show at the RDS in Dublin.  Carmen and I left at 7 o’clock to beat the worst of the traffic and we arrived at the RDS by about 9.30am.  Because we were both doing a stint helping and demonstrating on the Feltmakers Ireland stand we were lucky enough to get in free!  It was a great day.  I had never actually been to any big fibre event before being so new to felting but Carmen had prepared me well!!  What surprised me the most was that I did not go too mad buying things, I have a habit of jumping in like there is no tomorrow and I could have ended up with a truck load of bits and bobs that never would have been used had I not restrained myself.  The absolute best stands for me to pick up more unusual items were Art Van Go and Twisted Fibres, both had BEAUTIFUL fibres for felting (or any other type of textile art) and I was smitten.  It was great to see Stephanie from the Yarn Room in Co. Wicklow absolutely snowed under with customers, I really didn’t get any time to chat to her properly as obviously sales take priority over everything else!  So, what did I buy?  Pink Pig notebooks to embellish with felt for Christmas presents, handmade paper to make gift tags and cards, 2 beautiful wooden stamps, gorgeous hand dyed silk roving, seed beads, 2 huge buttons, a piece of coarse scrim to felt into a wall hanging, some findings for jewellery making, wire for using with beads and finally some more Pink Pig notebooks!  The Feltmakers Ireland stand was totally mobbed for all of the day.  If people have never seen felt being made before the attraction is usually instantaneous, many new people joined up and many old friends visited the stand.  I was delighted to meet some people local to the South East and I think that all the upcoming courses on the workshop page are going to be totally full before long judging by the interest at the show.  It was lovely to met some people who are following my activities on this blog, I hope that you all had a great day in Dublin!

Felted rug workshop and beginners feltmaking course

The dates for the 2 felted rug workshops with master Turkish feltmaker Mehmet Girgic have now been set.  The first dates are Friday 16th to Sunday 18th January and the second workshop takes place from Tuesday 20th to Thursday 22nd January inclusive.  Places are limited to 10 participants per course so if you are interested please contact me as soon as possible.   Check out the workshops page for information re costs and venue.

Please also note that the 5 week beginners felting course that I am teaching will now start on the first Thursday of November.  Apologies for any confusion caused, I forgot that I would be working on the Feltmakers Ireland stand at the Knitting and Stitching show at the RDS next Thurdsday!